Jan
30

Patched by Randy Rowley 1/30/18 ©

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When we were getting ready to leave for our early January self-guided/chartered coastal Blast and Cast (duck hunt and bay fishing trip) at Port O’Connor, Daryl Shipper asked me if he could borrow my spare pair of waders, which were made from neoprene.  Daryl had a pair of waders with him, but they weren’t made of neoprene and he knew that the water would probably be cold, due to recent cold fronts.  I said “sure” and we threw them in my truck with the rest of our stuff.  I wasn’t concerned about them because they had worked fine the last time that I had used them.  But that was about a year prior to this trip.

That afternoon we set up near the old coast guard station near Saluria Bayou in Espiritu Santo Bay. Unfortunately, Daryl learned after he got in the water that the waders that I had loaned him were leaking a little. Ducks started to fly shortly after we set up and we had a limit of redheads, plus one ring-neck, by 4:50 PM, a good hour before sunset.

Later that night I pulled some old patches off the leaking waders and attached some Tear-Aid Type A patches.  This proved difficult, as the waders were still wet and the patches did not want to stay stuck.  He tried them again the next day, but they now leaked in several places.

After returning home, I bought new patches and proceeded to replace any patch that looked iffy.  I ended up replacing eight patches.  I then went duck hunting with Ken Miller on Somerville Lake in the day hunt area.  We walked in and for the last 50 yards or so we had to wade through some pretty thick vines with thorns, branches, and trees.  I discovered that the waders still leaked, but it wasn’t due to my patch job, it was due to two new holes as big around as a No. 2 pencil that I had put in my waders.

I patched those new holes and four days later when I hunted with my son, Ryan, on Belton Lake I discovered that I still had work to do to the waders above my right knee.  I replaced three more patches.  I’m hoping that they are now watertight.  I’ll find out next duck season.

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke there are accounts of the disciples of John the Baptist coming to Jesus and asking him a question about fasting.  Matthew put it this way in Matthew 9:14, “One day the disciples of John the Baptist came to Jesus and asked him, “Why don’t your disciples fast like we do and the Pharisees do?”

The Pharisees usually fasted twice a week.  They also customarily fasted during the national days of fasting and fasted when in mourning.  John the Baptist’s disciples fasted like the Pharisees did.  There were probably more than a tad bit annoyed when they came to Jesus and asked him why he did not make his disciples fast.  Jesus replied with three illustrations, all with the same point.

In Matthew 9:16 he presented his second illustration.  He said, ““Besides, who would patch old clothing with new cloth?  For the new patch would shrink and rip away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger tear than before.”  This illustration focused on a well-known fact in that day and time – no experienced seamstress would patch an old garment with a piece of new cloth, as when the new patch inevitably became wet it would shrink as it dried and cause the hole or tear to become worse than it was before it was patched.

What Jesus meant by this is his new teachings do not mix well with the Pharisees’ old rituals, such as regular fasting.  Attaching his new teachings to their old ones would result in confusion at the least from distorting the truth.

Our old garments, which are our old sinful and self-consumed lives, cannot be mended; they must be replaced.  When we come to Christ we are new creations.  Our old lives have died and our new lives with him have begun (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).  We have replaced our old sinful lifestyles with the new godly way to live.  We can’t combine the two – one will have to rule the other and if we have not turned from our sins then our sinful nature is what will rule us.

Jesus addressed this in Matthew 6:24a NLT.  He said, ““No one can serve two masters.  For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other.””  And Paul addressed this in Romans 6:5-6 NLT, “Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was.  We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives.  We are no longer slaves to sin.”  Simply put, Jesus’ new teachings simply are incompatible with our old ways.

Trying to attach Jesus’ new life with the Pharisees’ old system of sacrificing animals, performing works, and completing rituals to become righteous is useless.  To attempt to meld his teachings into the ways of Judaism or any other of this world’s religions causes confusion.  As does attempting to meld his teachings with the teachings of the world, which is the cultures of this world that are directly under Satan’s influence.  As John put it, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  (1 John 2:15 NASB.)  Jesus’ new way (see John 14:6) must completely replace our old worldly ways in order for us to walk in the new life with him.

One day I’m going to bite the bullet and replace those old, patch-riddled waders with a new pair that are abrasion-resistant.  But for now, I’ve got higher priorities for my lose change.  Don’t let that be the case with Jesus’ teachings.  We don’t need to spend our time trying to patch up our old lives with his teachings – instead we need to surrender and start a new life with him.  Trying to blend our old lives with his new life will result in confusion, at the least.

Categories : Devotionals

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Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

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